The Valencian Government will force the large holders of empty houses to put them on the market for affordable rent or give them away for public use. The Department of Housing, led by the second vice president, Héctor Illueca, of Unides Podem, will take this Friday to the plenary session of the Consell the measure that will sanction the owners of 10 or more homes that remain unjustifiably uninhabited for more than a year and that creates the real estate portal of the Valencian administration, a tool to promote rents at low prices and bring about 20,000 empty flats to the market.
Within the framework of the plan for the promotion of rent, the Executive of the Botanical Pact, the coalition of PSPV, Compromís and Unides Podem, will activate in the coming weeks the mechanisms of mobilization of empty houses in compliance with the Law of Social Function of the Housing, approved in the last legislature.
The second vice president and Minister of Housing finalizes the decree that develops the norm, with which there were certain discrepancies with the Constitutional Court. The constitutional body overturned the article of the law that allowed the expropriation of empty homes to large landowners, so the Executive must resort to sanctioning measures and promotion of rent to reduce the map of empty flats in autonomy and prices in a market that has been rising for five years in a row.
The decree seeks to increase the supply of affordable housing to guarantee its social function – a constitutional right – and it does so by putting pressure on large landowners, either through tax benefits or through charges and penalties. The decree defines a large holder as “the natural or legal person who carries out an economic activity in the real estate field and has more than ten dwellings in any regime or modality of enjoyment in the terms provided in the legislation regulating the social function of the housing “, including those in companies under its control.
Obligation to report every six months
The large holders will have the legal obligation to report semi-annually on the empty houses in their charge, so that the Generalitat Valenciana incorporates them into a registry of empty houses. This computerized registry will be used to plan public policies and monitor sanctions. Once the house has been declared uninhabited, the owners may offer it to the administration to form part of the public park or to incorporate it into the real estate portal, Xarxa Lloga’m, benefiting from tax exemptions. If within six months the house is still uninhabited and is not part of any of the plans, the department will activate the sanctions, equivalent to the rental price.
Specifically, the sanction “will be equivalent to the monthly price per square meter of a rent established for public protection housing under the general regime, multiplied by the number of useful square meters of surface of the corresponding housing and by the number of months that have elapsed since the previous payment while the uninhabited housing situation is maintained “. For the declaration of uninhabited dwellings, the companies in charge of the supplies will have the obligation to collaborate with the Generalitat when information is required.
For the second vice president and minister of Housing and Bioclimatic Architecture, Héctor Illueca, the approval of the decree of empty houses “will mean returning the social use of these houses, which cannot be left to the speculative will of the large owners.” In this sense, he affirmed that “with the great need for supply that exists and the disproportionate price that rents have in our cities, we cannot allow these homes not to have a social use”
In parallel to the obligations of the large holders, the department headed by Héctor Illueca develops other measures to promote affordable rent: the creation of a public real estate portal, with a fixed maximum rent; aid for the rehabilitation of private homes to join the public park -with notable structural deficiencies-; the creation of a network of housing for emergencies and direct assistance to tenants so that the rent does not represent more than 25% of the income of the family unit.